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The Adventure of the Speckled Band

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The Adventure of the Speckled Band

Published 1949

Originally created as a pilot for a series of Holmes films this became a one off episode for the Lucky Strike sponsored "Your Show Time" series. It was originally aired on 25 March 1949 (Season 1 Episode 10)

Run time 26 minutes 43 seconds
Producer Marshall Grant and Stanley Rubin
Production Company Realm Productions
Sponsor Lucky Strike
Audio/Visual sound, b/w


Hosted by Arthur Shields
Alan Napier as Sherlock Holmes
Melville Cooper as Dr. Watson
Evelyn Ankers as Helen Stoner
Edgar Barrier as Dr Roylott
Richard Fraser as Helen's fiance
Gail Roberts as Julia Stoner

Directed by Sobey Martin
Written by Walter Doniger
Produced by Marshall Grant and Stanley Rubin
Musical Direction by William Lava


Reviewer: The_Emperor_Of_Television - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 3, 2014
Subject: I'm a very poor reviewer. Please forgive me if this review is of unacceptable quality
This is the third version of "The Speckled Band" that I've watched. The other two I've seen are a 1964 version for BBC television, and a 1979 version for Soviet television.

I would say this is the least impressive of the three I've seen, but it's still pretty good. However, I did not like the character of the fiancé, I found that character to be redundant and unnecessary.
Reviewer: Max Reiner - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 3, 2012
Subject: Great Production
I found this half hour version very well done. Arthur Shields as host was a pleasant surprise. He is the brother of Barry Fitzgerald. Alan Napier was an excellent Holmes. That exaggerated pipe is a h00t! Watson character is ok by me. The gals are sexy! I like the way it was shot. Lots of medium closeups makes for more compelling storytelling without calling attention to the sets in wide shots. The old castle shots were very nice. In all, a most enjoyable production. Thanks Archive. Cheers!
Reviewer: Jazzy792 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 3, 2012
Subject: Really, really good...
Winner55, in the book, Holmes was so described: "In height he was rather over six feet, and so excessively lean that he seemed to be considerably taller." Alan Napier's extreme height wasn't an issue, in fact, height-wise, he was better suited for the role than any other actor. Now, Watson drove me nuts...he wasn't any help, merely comic relief. I feel they could've handled Watson better. But it's still a good interpretation and condensation of the story, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys the Holmes stories.
Reviewer: I_loved_this movie! - - September 24, 2011
Subject: Unlucky Strikes
Arthur Shields, the heavy-smoking bookseller, died of emphysema in 1970, at age 74.

There's no reason modern anti-smokers should be "upset" by the images here. Along with the facts of how Shields died, these scenes merely serve as a rational reminder to all of us how lethal this habit was, and why it is good that tobacco products are no longer allowed to be advertised, as they were 60 years ago, as if they were beneficial to health.
Reviewer: winner55 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 24, 2011
Subject: Pretty good
Alan Napier's big problem is that he's too tall to play Holmes. Indeed, that was his big problem as an actor - he was too tall for practiocally any part.
He's a good Holmes here. He is not benefitted by a Watson who's protrayed as an imbecile - the more problematic the 'Holmes', the better served by a Watson who is intelligent and able.
Well never, mind; Napier turns in a strong performance.
The heavily-smoking book-seller link-scenes may also upset some in our puritanical anti-smoking era, but that's the way it was.
The story is one of Doyle's best and is well presented.
Reviewer: German Saxon - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 3, 2010
Subject: Great Version
My wife and I both really enjoyed this TV version of "The Adventure of the Speckled Band." The scene sets were excellent for the time and location.
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